Sunday, January 30, 2011

Juice Bags, What Are They, and Where Do You Get Them?

One of the dietary practices I have assimilated into my routine is juicing. Not shooting steroids and becoming some meat head, but rather the process of extracting juicing from raw fruits and vegetables and consuming those in place of meals. In some cases I will do this as a fast, and do nothing but juice for a week or more, but for the most part I just replace a meal out of each day with it.

While I will save the topic of which juicers to consider buying, and believe me, I have and use a lot of juicers, from the Breville Juice Fountain, to the Omega Juicer, and on the low end the Juiceman Jr. This discussion is around juice bags.

Juice bags are basically serve as a filter for manual juicing of fruits, by either squeezing by hand, running through a blender, or using an old fashion citrus juicer. Once done, you run the sludge through a juice bag, filtering out the pulp and just getting the nutrient rich juice in its place. You can get an idea of the process by watching this video:

This process works very well when juicing watermelon, grapes, oranges, lemons and limes.

So the next question is, which juice bags are the best. I have a wide range of bags, from the nylon nets, to hemp fiber bags. You can even substitute a juice bag for the kind of bag they use in home made beer making. Each one has its advantages. For citrus, I prefer the hemp fiber bags available from Vermont Fiddleheads. They do make smaller bags if the 12x12 is too expensive for you. I also use the nylon bags for watermelons and grapes, which is available also from Vermont Fiddleheads, as well as the Gracie Diet Store. If your a jiu-jitsu person, the Gracie Store also offers discounts on the bags if you buy their other products, such as gi's or tshirt's.

Plenty of good recipes come with these types of juices. Any citrus juice needs to be done alone since it is acidic. If you juice grapes, you can mix with acai and you get a really nice, wine tasting type shake. With watermelons, you can mix with bananas and acai for one of my all time favorites mixes. My wife is pretty fond of drinking the watermelons juices straight with meals.

Keep in mind, its better to drink the juices right away, do not juice then store them in the fridge, as they lose potency pretty quickly, and spoil really fast since there are no preservatives in them. But you wouldn't want preservatives anyway since you want maximum potency of nutrients.

P90X: Week 5 Day 1

Starting off on Month 2 with Chest, shoulders, and triceps. This is a much more difficult routine than I remembered it being. By the end of month 1 I was breezing through Chest and Back, and Arms and Shoulders. Must be because different muscles are being worked.

With that, I will give a good tip. If your struggling, lighten the weight, or lower your reps. If its push-ups, consider using your knees. By the end of this workout, I had to shift to the using the knees, and had to drop the weight, especially when it got to the pours for shoulders. Just don't give up!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So, I had some extra Tilapia. I needed a couple of recipes for seasoning, so I tried these out:

  • paprika,
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • melt some butter
  • squeeze some lemon juice
  • baste over the filet
  • sprinkle on a small amount of brown sugar, salt, black pepper
Neither of these work on the diet, since lemon juice is a Group D item, and doesn't mix with anything, but it came out great. If you want it Gracie diet, drop the paprika, lemon juice, and sugar, and eat with rice which is a starch.

Cantaloupe Shake

Started off this morning with a cantaloupe shake. Had some cantaloupes sitting around that are in desperate need of eating, so I picked the riper one and made myself a shake.

  • 1 whole cantaloupe
  • granola
  • acai
  • honey
Cut the cantaloupe into pieces, and run through a juicer. My preference here is to use the Breville Juice Fountain. While the Omega Juicer will give a better juice yield, with melons it has the tendency to clog, so I can get the job done faster with the Breville. Put the juice into a blender, take about a cup of granola. Put in 2 packets of acai puree. For this shake I like to use the Sambazon Smoothie packs just because its easy to use and since I can clear out the local grocery stores supply of this, its easy to find. Put in a small amount of honey, just enough to sweeten the taste. If I had to guess, I would estimate I use about 1/4 cup of honey. Then liquefy in the blender.

This is great because everything in this recipe is a Group C food, except the granola, which is Group B, so it fits in the Gracie Diet. There isn't a similar recipe in the P90X meal plan, but thats OK. This is just a get up and go recipe for the early morning.

Of course, the alternative is you can eat the cantaloupe whole. There isn't really a compelling reason to juice it, except that for some odd reason, I just don't like cantaloupe is a solid form. I don't know why, I can eat watermelon whole, I just prefer to juice cantaloupe.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Turkey Tacos 2

Not my usual recipe for this, but I was out of my usual ingredients so this did in a pinch, they came out pretty good too.

  • 1/4 Green Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 green chili pepper
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1/4 cup of egg white
  • turkey breast, chopped
  • Corn tortillas
Cut up the peppers, onion. I used a food processor. Mix with egg whites and chopped turkey. Coat pan or skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Put into skillet or stove top in pan. I used an electric skillet, and set to 350 degrees. Cook until egg whites turn solid, mixing with a spatula throughout to scramble the eggs. Put the corn tortillas in a microwave for 15-30 seconds, making sure to cover with either a tortilla towel or with paper towels. Makes 3 tacos.

The original idea came from the P90x Nutrition guide by modifying the Mushroom Omelet by removing the cheese and replacing with turkey breast. This fits the Gracie Diet since all the items are Group A items, which mix together, except the corn tortillas, which is a Group B item. So its the best of both worlds, following the P90x meal plan, and keeping on the Gracie Diet.

P90X: Week 4, Day 2

Did Core Synergistics. No additional exercise today, but after my run yesterday and the good weather, I'm itching to get back out there...

One Way to Know if Your Eating Wrong

I am a follower of the Gracie Diet. So one of the things that I noticed upon taking up the lifestyle is how I feel after a meal when I follow the diet vs when I don't. When I break the diet, I get a very tired feeling after eating. I don't want to move, and I feel "lazy" or "sluggish". In cases like these, it is pretty evident that my body is wasting an enormous amount of energy in order to digest the food I just ate. When I follow the diet, I don't get that feeling, and am ready for physical activity almost immediately afterwords, although I still give myself "at least one hour" that we have always heard growing up. So, keep that in mind, you'll know if your eating wrong if you have the "food fatigue" after you eat.